Interview with Priyanka Sharma a jewellery design & fashion expert
One’s passion determines one’s career and goal. Based on this saying is the story of Priyanka Sharma, a faculty for jewellery design with Pearl Academy in Jaipur. Her love and passion for jewellery shaped her career as a jewellery designer in the Gem and Jewellery Industry of India. The first turning point came in life when she was selected for Gem and Jewellery design training from Mumbai. She has bagged several awards in national and international jewellery design programs. She has been part of the jury for several national level jewellery design competitions. SliceofRealLife.com got in touch with Priyanka Sharma to share her view on the latest jewellery trends in 2013. Here are the excerpts from the interview with her:
What are the latest jewellery trends 2013?
The latest trends in 2013 will be a mélange of ingenuity and technology sparkled by a brilliance of classics. Designs will be more dynamic and innovative with an experimental flare of blending classic designs with a fresh and modern twist. A flavor of modernism will be added by the inspirations that capture moods of sophistication and beauty. In 2013 exploration of hues in gemstones will be the key for spreading the rich color palette. Themes may vary from modern minimalism, Art Deco, et al to impact of markets and culture. Yellow and White gold are eternal, still some balanced and comfort can be felt with new materials. The jewellery fashion trends of 2013 will be amazed with new materials, techniques and color combinations. Jewellery trend is changing this year illustrating super technology with variety of cultures.
How is the demand for gold jewellery in Indian markets, considering the rising gold prices?
Culturally, Indian people have a great fascination for gold and the country is the largest consumer of gold, accounting for more than 20% of the total world gold consumption. Gold dominates the Indian jewellery market and formulates almost 80 per cent of the market share. Demand for gold in India has increased and will follow the same trend despite soaring prices of gold. A predominant portion of the gold jewellery manufactured in India is consumed in the domestic market. The reasons include an increasing disposable income, growing number of working women, changing taste and preferences of the consumers and festive season sales. Urban demand for gold jewellery is associated with beautification but in rural areas it still plays predominantly a monetary role. One of the most encouraging factors for increased demand for gold jewellery trends visible in the Indian gems and jewellery market is that the country is now beginning to move towards branded jewellery and consumers are increasingly accepting modern retail formats.
Is diamond jewellery going to eclipse the popularity of gold jewellery with Indian women?
The size of Indian Gem and Jewellery Market is rapidly increasing and within the jewellery retailing market in India, the share of gold jewellery is estimated at 70% and the balance 30% comprises diamonds and gemstone jewellery. The foray of companies such as DTC, has been transforming the Indian Diamond Market. Initially it was felt that only gold jewellery could be an investment, but that perception is gradually changing. Consumers have started to see diamonds as an investment; however, gold will shine at its best.
What is the ongoing fashion – light or heavy jewellery?
Today, between each marked fashion trend, we experience new adaptations on the fashion standards. Presently, at a larger scale, customers’ taste in gold jewellery is shifting more towards heavy looking but light-weight products. Affordability and ease in wearing are important factors that have prompted an interest in such jewellery. Inception of technologies like CAD/CAM and Electroforming are making the demand of light jewellery stronger.
Are you into jewellery design for wedding or casual parties?
Presently I am associated with Pearl Academy Jaipur, so, fully committed to impart the best of knowledge in Gems and Jewellery Industry. In our curriculum we have a mentoring role in projects of jewellery design for wedding and casual parties. But yes, earlier I have done various projects for gold and diamond jewellery inclusive of wedding collections such as solitaire rings and bangles, diamond and color stone Tanmanyas and also created a range of party wear jewellery in hammered gold and uncut precious stones.
Some tips on bridal jewellery fashion for upcoming Indian wedding ceremonies?
A very important aspect of the marriage ceremonies is the bridal jewellery. Traditional and heavy jewellery will continue to be in demand as much of Indian wedding buying is focused on this range of products. But nowadays bride and groom outfits are offering a rich palette of colors to choose for an individual style statement. This inspires the jewellery designers to explore the glitters, iridescent, subtle translucency and shimmer in gemstones. Many designers today are working with non-traditional materials and designs and are coming up with a fantastic array of designer jewellery that are a perfect fit for the elegant Indian bride. One can opt for costume jewellery as this can be cheaper and made to match the garments worn. Apart from common jewellery products like necklace, earring, ring, bangle etc., jewellery designers can experiment with the wedding outfits as well, for instance collars, borders, buttons, cuffs, necklines etc. can be precious materials while experimenting.
How is the demand for Indian jewellery in the US market?
According to recent reports of Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), size of the Indian gems and jewellery market was USD 30.1 billion in 2011 and is expected to be USD 45 billion by 2015 on the back of increasing domestic demand. India is one of the largest exporters of gems and jewellery and the industry is considered to play a vital role in the Indian economy as it is a leading foreign exchange earner also. The very sector is expected to generate up to USD 35 billion of revenue from exports by the year 2015. Also diamond jewellery accounts for 55% of total jewellery sales in the US market and Indian diamond industry holds a very strong position in this global jewellery market. At the same time, India is gaining prominence as an international sourcing destination for high-quality designer jewellery. Global companies such as Walmart and JC Penney procure jewellery from India.
Which section of Indian culture are your jewellery design collections influenced by?
My design collections are very much influenced by the Indian Architecture, both historical and modern. Jaipur being the hub for color stones and blessed with exquisite craftsmanship, my designs showcases lot of explorations in carved stones, fine cut gemstones and Meenakari. Through my designs I love to preserve the Indian heritage, ethos and art skills. They are strongly focussed on handcrafted jewellery designs, which are not only unique and elegant but also pretty wearable at the same time.
Which jewellery brands are you associated with as a jewellery designer?
With my current role as a Course Leader for Jewellery Department at Pearl Academy, Jaipur, I am personally not associated with any of the brands. However, the institute is associated with renowned brands such as Gitanjali, Amrapali, Dwarkas, Derewalas and Tanishq among many others for our student’s Final Graduation Project and Internships. As a Course Leader and Jewellery Designer, my role is to mentor the students for developing a range of jewellery products for the given design brief. Students also work on design briefs made by them for a particular market segment and convert into tangible products.
Have you designed jewellery for Bollywood divas? Share your experience, please?
Our students are doing their design projects with Amrapali, Tanishq, Dwarkas and these companies are designing jewellery for Bollywood. Along with Industry Guides, we support our students to transform their ideas into reality for our glamour world.
As far as my association with Bollywood is concerned, I have not designed jewellery for any Bollywood Diva but I am a proud member of “ABHUSHAN” – a team of Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India and World Craft Council working for promoting cultural creativity of our country and also to bring about greater awareness of the importance of arts and crafts to a country’s cultural roots and economic development.
GJEPC’s primary mission is to expand avenues for export and import industry, development of artisan skills and stimulation of Research and Development. This forum allowed me to understand innovations and promote meaningful dialogue in the field of jewellery, material, design and fashion as they adapt to changing consumer trends. Many Bollywood and glamour world celebrities have appreciated this effort of global showcase of Indian Crafts and Jewellery.